Kovel Foundation (A Trust by the Indigenous People for Research on Sustainable Technologies) has been registered as a Trust under Indian Trust Act, 1882, on February 28, 1994 with its headquarters at Visakhapatnam with the support of Girijan Cooperative Corporation Limited, Visakhapatnam. It is an Apex Organization of 250 Girijan Gum Pickers Associations (GGPAs) spread over 15 districts of Andhra Pradesh and has a strong clientele of 8500 Tribal Gum Pickers as its members.
The Trust Board of Kovel Foundation comprises of 6 elected Tribal Trustees from 250 GGPAs, 3 nominated Trustees and two standing invitees (Commissioner, Tribal Welfare and VC & Managing Director, Girijan Cooperative Corporation Limited, Visakhapatnam) who are committed to tribal development. The affairs of the Trust are managed by the Managing Trustee through the Chief Executive Officer.
Kovel Foundation is one of the few NGOs in the country owned and headed by Non Timber Forest Produce (NTFP) dependent tribal/ client communities who form the Board. Hence community ownership and participation has always been on high priority in planning, implementation, monitoring, review and evaluation of the programmes for economic development of tribals.
Improving the quality of life of forest dependent tribal families in tribal areas (in India)
- Outreach: 1 Lakh families directly in A.P; 5 lakh families indirectly across the country
- Increased incomes of 50,000 families by Rs. 50,000 by 2022
- National Demonstration and Resource Centre of Excellence in NTFP
The 4 Pillar Programme of Kovel Foundation
- Faith and Respect (in the capacity of people, their culture & traditions)
- Integrity (human, social & ecological)
- Transparency and Accountability
- Tribal Institutional Development Programme (TIDP)
- Skill development Programme (SDP)
- Livelihood Development Programme (LDP)
- NTFP Training and Knowledge Centre (TKC)
Kovel has been working directly in 5 districts of Andhra Pradesh and 5 districts of Telangana States and reaching out to around 30000 small and marginal tribal households who are residing in most difficult terrain and interior places. Kovel also been extending skill development programmes on livelihoods in general and Non Timber Forest Produce value chain management in particular not only in the above two States but also in other states of India.
Kovel has been able to make an impact in tribal livelihood sector by intervening on institution building, capacity building, value addition and market linkages for forest and farm based livelihoods. Kovel has acquired expertise and experience in NTFP sector for promotion of sustainable livelihoods and able to implement and impact ultra poor lives by creating sustainable incomes and other support services.
Kovel as an Apex organisation of CBOs demonstrated that tribals are able to reap the benefits from any development interventions like intervention on Gum Karaya scientific tapping if proper support is extended. As a result of continuous efforts, today they are realizing incomes of Rs. 225/- a kg of first grade Gum Karaya compared to Rs.30/- per kg in early 90s.
Kovel has identified and maintained herbarium with more than 400 species besides collection of germ plasm of various medicinal and aromatic plants. The learning from successful intervention on Gum Karaya from Andhra Pradesh is in the process of replication in different parts of the country like in the State of Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharastra etc for increased incomes and conservation of valuable resources in addition to technology transfer to Senegal, West Africa.